CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For the first time, local residents will soon be able to access a fully-comprehensive survey of LGBT-inclusive businesses in the Charlotte area, thanks to a new effort from the Charlotte Business Guild.

In a release late last week, the Charlotte Business Guild announced their new Charlotte Area Business Equality Index (CABEI). The new survey, is similar to other ranking systems, like the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index. The new local tool will, according to the Guild, “be an online benchmarking tool that offers businesses the opportunity to receive an objective score, on a scale of zero to 100, on their LGBT inclusion policies and practices.”

The first CABEI results are scheduled to launch in October. It’s goal is to “help companies identify opportunities for continued improvement on their LGBT inclusion policies and practices, as well as help build a company’s reputation as an employer of choice,” the Guild said in the release.

Four categories will be included: Culture & Leadership, Benefits Access, Employment Practices and Community Engagement & Support Services.

“As the Guild celebrates our 22th year in service to the LGBT community of Charlotte, we are excited to be preparing for the launch of the first Charlotte Annual Business Equality Index to the businesses and organizations within the Charlotte region,” Guild President said in a release. “Today is an exciting and pivotal moment for both the business and LGBT communities. We are one step closer to launching this ground-breaking tool – a tool that many corporations have already embraced in other cities and even nationally, and in doing so, will lead to increased employment opportunities and improved employment outcomes for people within the LGBT community and those who support equality for all.”

The first CABEI survey questions are expected to launch publicly on at the Guild’s meeting on Sept. 23, 6:30 p.m., McColl Center for Visual Art, 721 N. Tryon St. The Guild will welcome special guests from the Human Rights Campaign, Equality NC, Charlotte Chamber, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, National Diversity Council, Raleigh Business and Professional Network and the SC Guild.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.